How to Launch a Care Team + Free Download
When faced with a caregiving situation, to say that most caregivers feel overwhelmed is an understatement.. In addition to the emotional impact of seeing a loved one in need, there is a need to develop an approach to provide the best care possible. In many cases people do not have the experience, time and resources to develop such an approach.
Like any other big project in our lives, having a plan is half the battle.
Several years ago, our family was in this exact position as we found ourselves creating a plan to care for our Nannie, who had been diagnosed with dementia. Overwhelmed and feeling totally ill-equipped to take on a responsibility of this magnitude, we started developing a plan that would meet the needs of everyone in the family while providing the best care possible.
Based on our experiences building CareZare and caring for our CareStar, Nannie, and research-based recommendations, we’ve developed five steps that can help guide you when faced with a caregiving situation.
Step 1: Identify your CareStar’s current challenges & issues
Concerns expressed by the CareStar
I have trouble walking up the stairs
I need a ride to my medical appointments
CareStar behaviors observed by others
Forgets where she left her keys
Gets lost while driving
Other known challenges
Known medical conditions
Step 2: Gather and assess key health & financial information
Doctor’s names, including phone numbers
Health insurance information including Medicare\Medicaid\Health
Insurance including policy numbers
Family and friends including phone numbers and/or email
Financials (Depending on situation)
Income Sources: Social Security, rental income, pension
Assets: House, property, bank, financial services
Obligations: Mortgage, rent and other obligations
Homeowners, Rental, Auto, Life
Step 3: Create a Care Plan
What are the Goals/Objectives for the CareStar at this stage? Goals are the short-term outcomes, whereas objectives are the longer-term outcomes that we hope to achieve.
Keep her as happy & safe as possible
Return to life as usual
Transition to modified lifestyle based on challenges
Identify and transition to alternative living arrangements
Identify what daily/weekly care and support your CareStar needs
Personal and medical needs attended to
Identify roles needed to provide that support. When planning for Nannie, we used a mix of professional caregivers and family members. Here’s how it worked for us:
Professional caregiver coverage
Transportation to appointments
Companion for daily walks, games and other activities
Cue to take meds
Friend lunch dates
Suggest good topics of conversation
Reminding friends to call/confirm on day of event
Extended family/friend circle communication
Suggest good topics of conversation
Suggest better times of day to call
Step 4: Craft Your Care Team
Identify people/resources to fulfill roles
Make-up of team will differ by situation
Example of role types
Family and friends (Core Team members)
Extended family and friends (Social dates and/or periodic calls)
Step 5: Launch the Team
Communicate the current care goal(s), relevant CareStar background and care approach to core care team members
Introduce the caregivers to your CareStar
Establish effective approach to care team coordination and collaboration.
In the future, we will expand on many of these topic areas to provide further insights and support as you work to develop and leverage your Care Team and provide the best care for your CareStar.
Are you ready to launch your Care Team?
Check out our free worksheet to help guide you through the process!